Some miracle claims stand up better under historical analysis than others. After all, as I’ve detailed elsewhere, loss is actually the norm for most pre-modern texts. The first is that the role of past and reported miracles is probably not as important as this implies. There is a danger in making out that the breadth of Christian charity was utterly unique, as this kind of thing spills over into Christian apologetics rather too easily and early Christianity was far more of its time and culture than it was distinct from it. But the laws do show the will of the emperor , and this would not have gone unnoticed. But when I’m giving a talk to a lay audience, they simply do NOT as a rule know such things. And if you say we do historical analysis by considering these 5 criteria then that means I would like to see you applying those 5 criteria. Anyway thanks for all the great work on this site. I don’t think Tacitus would have made up the Neronic persecution to make the Christians look bad, given that the point of the story was to emphasise what a creep Nero was. It is a subject which can stir up both triumphant apologism and vehement condemnation. “We don’t have the original copy that Mark made. Are you really saying that you think a manuscript which post-dates the original by 130 years is likely to be a first-generation copy of the original? The irony is that you are guilty of a form of reductionism, which is often heavily criticized by certain believers. As I understand it, textual critics have a fairly good idea, for the most part, of what the originals of the NT said. The weirdness in all this is, is Ehrman says in the 2012 debate that” we cant get back to the origionals”. Ehrman’s book remains solidly grounded in first-rate scholarship. This may seem surprising to many readers, but he is right in saying that the few examples we do have – Gregory Thaumaturgus in Pontus, Martin of Tours in Gaul or Porphyry in Palestine – are individual zealots and exceptions rather than the rule. Was it necessary to spend so much time digressing into personal attacks? But if no one has the original, then Ehrman can not prove or disprove that that particular copy of Mark was or was not a first generation copy. You asked a question, and I gave a simple coherent answer. Christianity was much more successful in the east, but much more aggressively repressed by the Islamic world which led to its. I personally think there ‘are’ examples of such a deity, like Baal, Attis, Inanna etc, but parallels to Jesus’ resurrection can be found in Isaiah 53, so Jews would have hardly had to have stolen their ideas from Pagans. I think your beef is rather more with Ehrman than with me, but I also think it’s splitting hairs to make much distinction between “philosophical” and “historical” reasons for not accepting miracles. In reality the first two sentences are proof enough of incoherency………… Bart Ehrman, at times, is self evidently a confused man, and it doesn’t take a scholar to comprehend this. ), It seems clear to me he rejects miracles for philosophical reasons. Only this week I was highly recommending Ehrman to my students as an example of a contemporary scholar whose understanding of the Bible in both historical and literary ways was second to none currently active, and that they should read his work. I really do like Ehrman otherwise. Wallace agrees, and so does every single NT scholar. If not more so. However, my point is: You seem to placing too much emphasis on Wallace’s being a fundamentalist and the doctrinal statements of Dallas Theological Seminary, while neglecting the fact that Wallace is, nonetheless, a bona fide scholar with credentials from some of the leading universities in the world. Or the Church's insistence to suppress knowledge? I’ll have to take my chances on this one, Tim. When you see exclamation points throughout each chapter in a publication that is supposedly based on facts, it makes you suspect all that is written is not fact, but merely an opinion. It might be that there wasn't as much new information in it as I thought there would be. Regardless, an interesting review of an interesting book. ), Your response in my opinion is nothing more than deflective and dismissive. But I don’t change the message. No one can!”. Where did I say they were “extreme”? You basically stack the deck against the possibility of historical analysis providing evidence of miracles because you define them out. This is one of the most interesting books I have ever read. So I would weigh both my philosophical and my religious beliefs against the historical evidence such as it is. Title: The triumph of Christianity : how a forbidden religion swept the world. Personally, I don’t quite agree and think “divine” is not a useful way to describe Paul’s pre-existent Jesus. The answer is either yes or no, and it can’t be both. I’d strongly suggest you don’t keep perpetuating the “two Bart Ehrmans” argument – it doesn’t actually stand up to hard scrutiny. In this fascinating book, Rodney Stark eschews the normal theological and historical answers to this question and sets out to answer the question through sociological analysis. “overall comes to the same conclusion of most objective historians: Christianity did not win out because of violent coercion.”. Now if I disputed the splitting of the moon based on the historical criteria Ehrman offers then that would be a a historical analysis. Because all it would tell most people is that those “folks” positions are fringe. But yeah, what happened with Taleb? But in practical terms, I agree with Ehrman. I am willing to bet that you didn’t even know of Dan Wallace until I brought him up to you or at the very least knew nothing about this earth shaking scandal concerning Mark until I mentioned his name. The Sassanid empire was militantly Zoroastrian and scored several notable victories against the empire during the Crisis of the Third Century. Those were pretty striking. a hack …. By the time Constantine came to power the thing the equestrians desired more than anything was stability and no return to the previous century’s chaos, and Constantine maintained a rigid policy of uniformity and conformity as a result. 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